Microsoft Surface Pro Scores Surprisingly Low Repairability Rating

The Microsoft Surface Pro has defied description somewhat, and it hasn’t been clear if it’s a laptop or a tablet. After what sounds like a grueling challenge, iFixit has an answer: It’s got to be a tablet, because a laptop wouldn’t be so difficult to work on. The site ended up giving the Surface Pro its lowest possible repairability rating--one out of ten.

First of all, the screen was glued down with so much black tar-like adhesive that they had to melt the stuff to remove the display. (Cutting the glue wasn’t sufficient.) Then, to remove the plastic bezel to get to the guts of the machine, they had to pull out 23 screws. Taking out the motherboard assembly and SSD required the removal of an additional 29 screws.

Microsoft Surface Pro

Aside from that, most of the tiny components, such as the cameras, speakers, microphone, and so on, came free without much trouble--until they got to the battery, which was glued into place. (At least it wasn’t soldered.)

Microsoft Surface Pro

All told, iFixit pulled out 90 screws and had to melt the adhesive on the display and the battery to take the Surface Pro completely apart. They also noted that it’s tricky to take out the SSD without ruining the device, and you’re likely to cut at least one of the four cables rimming the display when you take off the display.

Microsoft Surface Pro

In sum, don’t bother trying to open the Surface Pro; unless you’re a very careful professional, it’s not going to go well. It’s somewhat surprising to see a Windows PC that’s nearly impossible to tinker with, but apparently this is the new Microsoft. Maybe we should get used to it.